UNITED NATIONS: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that the US wants to include Pakistan, India and Israel in the Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
“We strongly believe in this, which is why we are taking steps that have never been taken by any administration before,” she told reporters on Monday, after addressing the NPT review conference at the United Nations (UN). Asked whether she had any proposals to persuade the three countries who had not signed the 1968 nuclear pact, she said that the US wanted every country to be a signatory to the treaty.
“We want universal adherence and we continue to urge all states, every single one of them outside the NPT, to join the treaty and accept the full-scope safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency as required under the treaty,” she said. Clinton said that the US was trying to build confidence and show its commitment towards the NPT. “We want to see every nation that is a signatory live up to its obligations and it is important that the US take the steps it is taking.
But we hope that we will see all nations eventually agree that being a signatory to the NPT is in their interest and the interests of global security and safety.” Earlier, speaking in the General Assembly hall, Clinton accused Iran of “flouting the rules” of the NPT with its suspect uranium enrichment programme and said it was “time for strong international response”. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rejected the allegations, saying that Washington had not offered “a single credible proof”.
The conference will go on for four weeks to deliberate over how to improve the NPT. The treaty is formally reviewed every five years in a meeting of all 189 members. The review conference is meant to produce a final document pointing towards ways of better achieving the NPT’s goals of checking the spread of nuclear weapons while working towards reducing and eventually eliminating them. The conference requires a consensus of all parties, including Iran, which has signed the treaty.
As delegates assess the NPT’s state in UN conference halls, US and European diplomats will be working elsewhere to reach an agreement with sometimes reluctant China and Russia. The US and Europe is seeking imposition of the UN Security Council’s economic penalties on Iran. “I hope we can reach an agreement in the Security Council on tough new sanctions because I believe that is the only way to catch Iran’s attention,” Clinton told reporters. In her address, Clinton proposed that the NPT be strengthened by introducing “automatic penalties” for noncompliance, rather than depend on such drawn-out council negotiations.
Ahmadinejad devoted much of his half-hour speech to the huge US nuclear arsenal, denouncing the Obama administration’s refusal to rule out the use of those weapons. “Regrettably, the US government has not only used nuclear weapons but also continues to threaten to use such weapons against other countries, including Iran,” he said, referring to the new US Nuclear Posture Review’s provision retaining an option to use US atomic arms against countries ‘not in compliance’ with the NPT.
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